At the beginning of the year, the EDI sophomores reached out to the NA faculty, asking if teachers had ideas for use for 3D-printed objects in their classroom. Miss DiJulio, an Upper School Art teacher, responded with the suggestion of some 3D-printed shells for her art students. We, along with Will Ward of our EDI Fellows cohort, created and printed multiple shells over the course of several months.
As with most projects, there were difficulties to overcome. Initially, we tried to design the shells from pictures of example shells that Miss DiJulio sent, weaving two design programs together, a very complex 2D modeling software called Inkscape and a 3D software called Blender. However, we ran into some challenges, forcing us to rethink our approach. We then turned to TinkerCad, a more simplistic software, to create our models.
After a few prototypes, we created and printed four unique shells. We designed two of these ourselves while the other two were based on modified models from Thingiverse, a database of premade 3D models. The first shell was the biggest one and needed to be printed in two parts. We tried several adhesives to stick them together, but none of them worked. Finally, we tried to weld the pieces together using a 3D pen. This solution finally worked, and after painting them, we delivered the shells to Miss DiJulio.